Monday, December 21, 2009

The Worst Beers of 2009

My favorite time of year: end-of-year-list time. It's not entirely easy to get motivated to write about my least favorite beers, you know with me not liking them and all, but it has to be done. Instead of ranking them this year as I did in 2008, I'm simply going to divide my least favorite suds into a few catchy categories. My apologies if I shatter your favorite beer's feelings. And no, Stella Artois and New Belgium Fat Tire, as much as I despise the idea of those beers (as well as the taste) aren't on this list.

To qualify, I must have tried a beer for the first time in 2009 (some beers I had had previously, but before journaling).

The Macro No-Brainers (I hesitate to even list them):

Miller High Life Light
Michelob Ultra
Keystone Light

I mean really. What a waste of a)my drinking time and allotted calories, b)my typing time, and c)your reading time.

Some notes: Strohs got a full star because I was in a great mood at the time, night fishing in Lake Blanche. It's likely the last Strohs (was it the first?) I'll ever have. Thanks Uncle Dave for leaving that one in the cabin fridge.

Coors, while not being a great beer, sports one of the best cans in the business. And it was enjoyed on the golf course, so who am I to complain.

The non-macro scuzz:

Blue Diamond Lager. Early in the year, I confirmed what I had thought upon my first attempt at this gem. It is in all likelihood the worst beer of all time. For further elaboration, read that post.

Grain Belt Premium Light. Especially painful because I actually enjoy a nice cold Grain Belt Premium every now and then. It leaves all other cased-can beers far behind. The Light edition is painful.

Iron City Light. Apparently legendary in Pennsylvania, or so I'm told by Arizona relatives. Couldn't resist when a six pack hit the counter at a pre-wedding gathering in Phoenix. Not the worst light beer I've encountered; in fact, I probably would have slammed a few if I had to. Luckily, I didn't.

Around the World in Crappy suds:

Henninger Premium Lager. Bought this solely for the can. Knew it would be bad, but this was beyond disgusting. Probably would be 2nd on the worst of list behind BDL.

Presidente. Available everywhere in the Caribbean, I slugged mine before boarding the ship in the Dominican Republic. The best thing about this beer? The $3 accompanying dog toy ball.

Tsingtao Pure Draft. A common thread: purchased strictly so I could possess a bottle full of Chinese characters. Bought this one at an Asian marketplace outside Chicago.

The Craft Brewing Mistakes:

Leinenkugels 1888 Bock. Maybe I'm ignorant, but a dunkler bock sounds skunky right off the bat. I had zero relevant notes from my original tasting: "Utterly horrible. Took my best effort to finish it." Thankfully, it'll be the last one I finish.

Sam Adams Blackberry Witbier. The gold standard for syrupy, overly sweet fruit bombs. "Yuck yuck yuck. Cough syrup. Awful."

Left Hand Polestar Pilsner. Just a messy pilsner from a brewery I had no luck with this year. "Like gnawing on a sock. Bad even as a chaser. Dreadful." And these comments even with the built in vacation ratings boost.

Spanish Peaks Honey Raspberry Ale. Given to me for free by Ed from Heritage Liquor after I told him I was providing beer for a work gathering that would include women. "Sometimes they go for stuff like this," he said. They didn't, and it was I who suffered. "Tasteless and flat, like a sparkling water that's been left in the fridge."

Firehouse Hefeweizen. A stab in the dark sixer purchase gone horribly wrong. "Tastes like a Mich lite. Not a hefeweizen. If I wasn't so poor, this six pack would go down the drain."

If you found any of these delights in your stocking this holiday season, I'm sorry. Maybe you can enjoy them more than I did. If you've avoided them to date, continue to do so until impending Mayan apocalypse.

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